I'm following him and snowforecast very closely. His weather predictions are on the Steamboat website.
Weather is looking bad for next week. Hunter will be lucky if they can open even just the F-Lift with 6-pack downloading. Windham does not have this lift access and will probably be closed. Belleayre has some higher elevation terrain with lift access, so they may be able to pull off a WROD.
Gore and Whiteface will likely not be able to open much more, if anything compared to what they have now.
Killington may be able to pull it together and open Ramshead and/or Snowshed. They really need extra base areas to open soon.
The 12/26 deadline still stands. Set it any later and you'll slack off in a good year. The deadline applies in all years, but there'd just be many places that miss it this year.
Think of it this way, if you guarantee all lifts open by 12/26 to your passholders, or they get $100 back, not that anyone does that. If you set the deadline at 1/15 instead, you should always be able to make it, but would there be any motivation to open stuff early in a good year. You'd be doing customers a disservice by setting the bar low like that.
You need to get realistic. Your deadlines don't make any sense.
In reality IMO the industry does itself a disservice by rushing to open. All the snow blown at Wildcat and other resorts that melted is snow that can't be blown later due to budgetary issues. If resorts waited they could blow later into the season which would extend spring skiing. Instead of the rush to be first be the counter trend marketer that advertises being the last to keep blowing and does more late season biz.
if You French Fry when you should Pizza you are going to have a bad time
Um actually my deadlines make plenty of sense. Christmas is one of the busiest weeks of the year, so if you want to provide a decent experience, you'd better be damn sure that all your lifts are running. Considering that by this time, most ski areas have been open for at least a month, there really isn't an excuse to not open all your lifts. If you can't do it, better invest heavily the following summer in snowmaking capacity.
It's asinine to make snow in October if you aren't Killington or Sunday River. However, there is a huge difference between that, and going all out in December to provide the best possible experience for the very busy Christmas holiday week. Mount Snow and Stratton both met the 12/26 deadline last year, and I'm sure they delivered a far better experience than Gore did with all of Burnt Ridge and the Ski Bowl closed, and likely many more trails elsewhere. Hunter meets the deadline just about every year, and I always feel good about skiing there during Christmas week.
Extending spring skiing just means even more lost money if you aren't Killington. If ski areas waited till January to really try and open up terrain, they'd just end up closing with full wall to wall coverage and letting that melt at the end of the season. You can't force people to change what they do. At some point late into the season, ski areas will hit a date where it makes no longer makes financial sense to stay open, so they close, regardless of snow. Windham closes the first Sunday of April every year, sometimes the last Sunday in March regardless of snow coverage. They may as well try and open as early as possible since they only need enough snow to last till the first Sunday in April. Most other ski areas operate similarly.
I think Coach is basically saying......
Life just isn't the bowl of biscuits we want it to be every day kid.
I'm just practicing and enjoying my new vid uploading skills. :) I sing this to my daughter a lot. She hates it but it gets the message across.
I agree with most of that. All of the revenue comes from Christmas, Prez and MLK, at least in the east.
Thanksgiving is another story. I'd bet at least half are losers.
I talked to Mike at Gore this weekend. He said they basically went for it because of snoloco's law.
The pressure was just too much.
Thanksgiving is typically a loser in a bad year, like this one, but there is always pressure from the places where it is profitable for everyone to try to open. If all of the revenue comes from Christmas, MLK, and Prez, then all the lifts should open by 12/26 by any means possible. Since 1/3rd of your season's revenue comes from that, you need to put forward the best skiing experience possible.
Not a single night of snowmaking temps in Hunter's forecast for the next two weeks. I don't think they're opening this weekend, although they may be able to do 6-pack downloading. They may need to change their opening plans completely to open all the terrain they can off the F-Lift and West Side before expanding to the bottom.
Mountain Creek won't be open till at least Mid January at this rate which is worse than 06-07 when they opened in December and were forced to close for much of January. They're looking at a half length season.
I don't think I'm going to be able to do any non WROD skiing until I get out west. Steamboat has 68.5 inches so far and there is more to come next week. I was told by a local on epicski that they should have the entire mountain open with a couple more storms.